Boxing Day, Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal, Man City win
Chelsea remain top of the EPL table after Boxing Day win
Boxing Day Scores
Manchester United 3-1 Sunderland
Manchester United 3-1 Sunderland
Swansea 1-4 West Ham
Hull City 0-3 Manchester City
Leicester City 0-2 Everton
Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth
Watford 1-1 Crystal Palace
Arsenal 1-0 West Bromwich
Burnley 1-0 Middleborough
Man United goals: Blind 39 min, Ibrahimovic 82 min, Mkhitaryan 86 min
Sunderland goals: Borini 90 min
Any doubts about new Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic are gone after his steady improvement game-by-game and his contributions to Manchester United’s winning streak. Ibrahimovic played a part in all three of United’s Boxing Day goals. Blind scored his first goal of the season and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his twelfth goal. Ibra has been involved in 14 Premier League goals to date this season, 12 goals, 2 assists, at least eight more goals than any other Man Utd player. "People did doubt Zlatan Ibrahimovic and there were games earlier in the season when he gave possession up too easily, but the quality that he has is showing now,” said former Gunners striker Ian Wright. "If you give him time he can find runners and he looks so dangerous now. He has a lovely relationship going with Paul Pogba."
Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a stunning goal as Manchester United won their Boxing Day game versus Sunderland to earn their fourth Premier League win in a row dominating throughout the match and maintaining possession 63% of the time with a total of 25 shots on goal. Dutchman Blind scored to give United the lead from a great pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic shooting low into the bottom-right corner for his first goal of the season. United doubled their lead with Paul Pogba setting up Ibra for the security goal with eight minutes left in the match. Then sub Mkhitaryan added an amazing back-heeled 12-yard shot from an Ibrahimovic cross, that United manager Jose Mourinho said was "phenomenal". "It was a great moment," said Mourinho of summer signing Mkhitaryan’s goal.
"It's a pity it was the third goal of the game, not one that won the match because that would've been in Man United history," said Mourinho. "He played for 25 minutes and played well and he's doing great things."."Mkhitaryan's goal was just outrageous. It was brilliant. To even try that - we should be looking at that for the next six months, it was that good. It was brilliant ability to even try that, said former England captain Alan Shearer." Sunderland’s only goal came late from Fabio Borini as Sunderland suffered their third loss in four games with the Black Cats two points adrift of safety. After the win, United are level with fifth-placed Tottenham, however the Spurs have a game in hand against Southampton on Wednesday. Mourinho's side made 606 passes compared to David Moyes’ Sunderland side’s 177.
This was David Moyes' first return to Old Trafford since getting fired as Manchester United manager in 2014. His Sunderland side have risen from the bottom of the table. The Black Cats have only found the net five times away from home in the Premier League. Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho had some criticisms of his side after their solid win. "They did well to stop us and we were a bit lucky to be 1-0 in front,” said Mourinho. "I didn't like the first-half performance. I was expecting us to start much better. I like the result. I like very much the second half. I know David and Sunderland deserved credit for what they did in the first half. Second half we had everything back - intensity, recover the ball high in the pitch, play fast passes and to have players like Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the bench helps. These are three important points. Four matches, 12 points - that's what we need."
Former Manchester United manager and current Sunderland manager David Moyes had some regrets after his side’s loss. "Up until 1-0 we had a good chance to get something out of the game, but we gave away a dreadful second goal and the third was offside,” said Scot Moyes. "We hung in. We sort of stifled them, stuck at it and said if we could hold it at 1-0, they might get nervous in the last 10 minutes but we couldn't do it.”
De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Blind; Carrick, Herrera, Pogba; Mata, Ibrahimovic, Lingard. Subs: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Rashford.
Pickford; Jones, Van Aanholt, Djilobodji, Kone; Denayer, Ndong, Borini, Larsson; Anichebe, Defoe. Subs: Mannone, Love, Asoro, O’Shea, Kaziri, Embleton, Honeyman.
Man of the Match is Man United’s Paul Pogba who had 70 passes, eight shots, and assisted Zlatan Ibrahimovic for United’s second strike.
Next Manchester United host Middleborough on New Year’s Eve, December 31 before playing West Ham on January 2, 2017. Sunderland travel to Burnley for their New Year’s Eve clash before hosting Liverpool on January 2, 2017.
New Year’s Eve – New Year’s Day Premier League Tickets
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“We have less than 48 hours between our game against City on December 31 and in Sunderland on the 2nd,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. “48 hours is an interesting idea but less than 48 hours I cannot believe.” Meanwhile Chelsea boss Antonio Conte’s team have four days off before a New Year’s Eve clash with Stoke. Buy Chelsea v Stoke City tickets. Chelsea gets another three days’ rest before its blockbuster clash with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on January 4, with Spurs getting just two days off after their round 19 game against Watford. Buy Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea tickets now! On New Year’s Day Arsenal host Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium in London. Buy Arsenal v Crystal Palace tickets. Then on January 2, 2017 West Ham United clash with Man United. Buy West Ham United v Manchester United tickets.